Neurotransmitters are used to pass messages along through the body and the brain. Two of these neurotransmitters are called serotonin and dopamine. Both are stored in brain cells. While serotonin helps us feel good, happy, and stable, dopamine is associated with your mental alertness, concentration, energy, sex drive and motivation. When either of these levels is too low, you may need medication.
- Skill level:
Decide why you feel you need to have the levels checked. Are you currently on medication and want to see if your dopamine and serotonin levels are responding? Are you just curious? Your doctor has a responsibility to order tests that are billed to insurance only if he feels the tests are medically necessary.
Schedule an appointment with your physician.
Discuss your concerns with the physician. If the physician's office offers lab services, your blood can be drawn at the office. Otherwise, you will have to go to a lab to have your blood drawn.
The lab will send the results of your tests to your physician's office. Either the doctor or his staff will contact you with the results. If the levels are abnormal, you may need to schedule a repeat visit to discuss the results in detail.
Tips and warnings
- Dopamine can be measured with a urine test or a blood test. Your doctor will choose whichever he thinks is appropriate.
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